How to Save Time, Money and Your Health with eMeals Menu Planning.
Life’s Most Valuable Items
Most would agree, the three most valuable things in life are our health (and the health of our loved ones), our time and as much as we don’t want to admit it, our finances. Great news, I’m about to show you how to live a much healthier life, gain a whole bunch of free time and save a lot of money on one of your largest budget items, groceries.
How You’re Mostly Likely Wasting a Lot of Time.
If you’re a working parent, or you stay home with the kids during the day, and even for those who don’t have any kids or a significant other, getting dinner on the table is usually a huge portion of your day. Not only is there the obvious, cooking the meal, but also there’s the time you spend preparing the meal, remembering to take meat out of the refrigerator the night before or that morning and that’s assuming you know what you’re going to make beforehand. For most of us, it doesn’t work that way.
For most, we go to work hoping we’ll figure something out for dinner during the day. In fact, that may be what you’re doing here right now. You’re looking for some sort of inspiration and then hoping you have everything you need to make what you’re now craving. If you don’t, well, now you’re going to have to give up more of your time by running by the store to get the one or two items you need, along with several impulse items, you probably shouldn’t be buying, for the sake of your budget and your waistline.
Time Should Be More Precious Than Money
You’re probably spending a good 15-30 minutes each day, trying to figure out what to make and then another 15-30 minutes making a daily detour to the grocery store. In the course of a typical week, you’re spending about one to three hours just repeating this painful cycle. What’s your time worth? It’s really the only thing in life that’s completely limited. You can always make more money, but you can never make more time. 24 hours each day, that’s what we all get, whether you’re Bill Gates or that guy pushing a shopping cart down the street.
This is Costing You a Years Worth of Vacation
As we can see, you’re probably spending at a minimum, 1-2 hours a week making last minute trips to the grocery store and scouring the internet for something creative to make for dinner. That’s 1-3 weeks a year in wasted time. If you’re like most of us, you get about that much time each year in vacation from your job and we’re wasting it every single day.
Where’s A Good Chunk of Your Money Going?
Now let’s look at the money situation when you follow the typical meal planning schedule, or lack there-of. Every financial expert will tell you, if you want to slash your grocery budget, the very first thing you should do is limit the number of times you go to the store. It’s true, if you go to the store and get all of your shopping done for the whole week, you’re going to buy a LOT fewer impulse items and as we all know, carrots and apples are NEVER impulse items. Most of the time, it’s crackers, chips, snacks and candy, the most expensive items in the store. Someone once told me, “to save money at the grocery store, stay around the perimeter and only venture into the middle area if you absolutely need to and only for something specific.” Most impulse items are in the middle, or worse, at the checkout counter.
Who Has Time For Researching Sale Items?
The other way you’re wasting cash when you don’t plan your meals is by not taking advantage of sale items. When you make a last minute trip to the store to get something on your way home, you’re in a hurry and you usually don’t have time to check out whether it’s a good deal or not. You just need a pound of ground beef and you don’t care whether it’s $2.45 per pound or $1.87. You need a pound of ground beef and you don’t have time to figure out something else to make, because you’ve got to get home. Is there a coupon for that seasoning mix in the newspaper? Who knows, you just need it and you don’t have time to stop, pick the flyer up at the door and shop for deals. It’s reality for most of us, right?
The Most Precious Irreplaceable Thing You Have
Ok, so wasting money is one thing, we can always cut somewhere else in the budget, or maybe hope we can make a bit more after our annual review with our boss. Even time, we can hopefully make-up somewhere else. So the last minute trip to the grocery store took 30 minutes, that may mean you miss the first part of American Idol, which isn’t really catastrophic. But let’s talk about your health. Listen, you’re not going to be able to cut somewhere else if your health deteriorates and when it does, it’s not going to cost you 30 minutes of tonight’s reality television, it’s going to cost you, potentially, years spent with your loved ones.
I don’t want to overstate it, but our health is a very precious item. When we’re rushed, we tend to make very poor health decisions. We’ll forgo that 30 minute cardio class at the gym, or even worse, instead of a healthy balanced meal, we’ll swing through the drive-thru and pick up something quick, just this once, right?
Death By Impulse
As we talked about impulse items above, in reference to saving money, most impulse purchases at the grocery store are for the absolute unhealthiest items. We’re walking by the bakery and those muffins look amazing (not to mention how great they smell) and one would hold us over perfectly until we can get home and get dinner on the table. It’s very often the demise of our dietary goals.
The number one place grocery stores get us with impulse items is while we’re standing in the checkout line. Ever notice that they never put the fresh produce there? It’s never a bin full of broccoli or a display case full of leafy greens. It’s candy, chips and other junk food. They know, most people are hungry when they go in the store and they’re absolutely starving by the time they get to the checkout line. We rationalize with ourselves and believe the lie that “Snicker’s really satisfies.” For about 20 minutes it will satisfy and then those 300 calories cause you to crash and burn.
Wasting Your Time, Robbing Your Bank Account and Probably Killing You
So, we’ve clearly established that our current way of handing the families food budgeting and planning is hurting our finances, wasting our time and costing us our well-being, at best, and potentially years of healthy vibrant living with our family.
Imagine if you were able to get more done at work because you’re not taking up time trying to figure out dinner. Or what if you were able to come straight home, knowing your meal was already planned out and you could gain that time to rest and recharge instead of scurrying around a crowded grocery store. Imagine if you limited the number of times you were tempted to cheat on your diet. Imagine if every week your food plan revolved around the items that were on sale at the grocery store. You’d save time, money and you’d lead a much healthier life. But, it would probably take hours of planning and researching, right? Nope….
What if I offered to:
- Plan out every dinner for your family this week?
- Take into consideration your personal dietary preferences, such as eating:
- Low Fat
- Low Carb
- Gluten Free
- Simple Gourmet
- Or good old American Classic meals (Like Mom made).
- Research all the sales at your favorite store and plan your meals around them?
- Gave you a shopping list for everything you’ll need this week, organized by sections in your specific store.
All That for How Much?
What would you be willing to pay for that? Would you be hand me a $20 bill each week for a service like that? WAIT… What if I told you it wasn’t
$20 and it wasn’t even half that each week? In fact, what if I told you it was just over $1 per week for a complete service like this? Would you be interested? You know it would save you a lot more than $1 in food savings, time savings and healthier living. In fact, it’s estimated it would save the average American family over $1000 each year! Seriously… that’s a lot of money!
Enter eMeals Menu Planning
When I first heard about eMeals Menu Planning and how comprehensive it was, I figured it
was going to be at least $20 to $30 per month, if I was lucky. Truthfully, I probably would have considered paying it too. But when I saw it was only $5 a month, there was no way I wasn’t going to give it a try. I spend at least that much each time I go to the grocery store, on those ridiculous impulse items we discussed. $5 each month… just over $1 per week (I chuckle as I write this) and you get all of this. Crazy!
Here’s How eMeals Works:
- You pick your plan tailored specifically for you. You get to choose your favorite eating style, whether that’s classic recipes we all love, or something special like low carb, low fat, portion control, Paleo, “clean eating,” natural and organic, vegetarian, gluten free, or a number of other options. Once that’s done, you’ll choose your family size, including an option for 1 or 2 people, or a family of up to 6.
- Next you’ll choose your favorite grocery store, whether that’s Publix, Ralphs, Safeway, Kroger, or even Whole Foods. You even have the option of choosing Target or Wal-Mart. You’ll be able to tailor it to exactly where you already shop so no need to change.
- Then, every week, you’ll get a meal plan in your email inbox, with seven very delicious and creative meals that fit your eating style. They’ll even include a number of recipes for you to try and they always include an entrée and the side dishes. It’s all taken care of for you.
- Attached to the menu items will be a complete shopping list organized by section and coordinated with your store’s weekly sale items, to make sure you save every dime possible, without any extra effort. eMeals does all of it for you.
You get all this:
- Meal planning around your dietary requirements (so you’re more likely to stay on your diet and reach your goals)
- An organized grocery list you can get done in one trip to the store each week (so you’re going to get back all that time you wasted on those last minute trips to the store on your way home)
- You’re going to take advantage of the sale items at your store (so you never pay more than you need to pay).
Really? Just $5 a Month? Really?
So, all this for $5 per month; there’s got to be a catch right? Nope, that’s it… $5 per month.
If you want to add in weekday lunches, you can do that as well. For an additional $4 per month, you’ll get 5 packable weekday lunches for up to 4 people.
If you want to add on a healthy breakfast for each weekday for up to 4 people, you can do that as well for just $3 per month.
But, those are not required and you’ll save so much time and money already with the dinner planning, the other items might be a nice luxury you can now afford.
The Bottom Line
At a minimum, give the eMeals dinner plan a try and see how it will save you time, money and provide you with a much healthier lifestyle. It seems like a luxury but it’s truly become a necessity for many people. In fact, financial guru, Dave Ramsey highly recommends eMeals Menu Planning for all of his listeners and if you’ve ever listened to his radio show, you’ll know, he’s never one to suggest spending money on anything you don’t absolutely need.